So you decided to sell your house without a realtor, on your own, and you are trying to figure out what will be the costs involved? So this post is about “What should I budget for If I sell my house on my own in New Jersey?”!
Be prepared, the costs are higher than you think!
It’s fair to say that home prices in New Jersey have been rising for a long time now. So you probably know that your house has appreciated considerably over the past years! But before you sell your house on your own, you need to factor in these obvious and not-so-obvious costs of selling your house in NJ!
What Should I Budget for if I Sell My House on My Own in New Jersey?
Yes my friend, you read it right – a lot of sellers think that selling on their own, they’ll completely avoid all the commissions. But the truth is otherwise. Even if you sell your house on your own, you still have to pay the buyer’s agent’s brokerage fees.
The vast majority of the buyers are NOT interested in a house that needs a lot of repairs, or that doesn’t look good. And let’s be honest here, a lot of houses have some kind of issues. Most of the time sellers need to fix their house if they intend to sell their house fast in New Jersey. It’s not uncommon that these repair costs can be extremely high, and time consuming. A new roof for example can cost as much as $20k!
You definitely want to make a good impression to potential buyers, and curb appeal is one of the most important ones. And landscaping is the number one improvement that enhances curb appeal. The cost of a full-blown landscaping job performed by a professional can run on average at $3k.
Cleaning, Staging and Photography
Many people – when asking, “What should I budget for if I sell my house on my own in New Jersey?” – often forget to consider the cost of cleaning, staging and photography. Not to mention the time consuming effort of leaving your house neat, clean and free of clutter and your personal stuff all the time. Unless you want your house to sit on the market for months on end, you probably should consider a professional cleaning service, a staging service to make your house look better, and a professional photographer that will give that extra shine to your house. You can expect to spend another $3k on average on cleaning, staging and having a professional photo shoot if you want to sell your house fast in New Jersey.
No buyers want to walk through a house that is extremely cold or hot, or even worse, completely dark (which is much less appealing). There’s also the risk of freezing pipes during winter here in New Jersey, which we all know can be really hard. On the other hand, if you don’t turn on the air conditioning during summer, your house will accumulate a lot of humidity and heat, which is the perfect condition for mold to grow. So please bear in mind that you’ll have to keep your utilities running, and multiply that cost by the time that will take to sell your house. That expense itself could be anywhere from $1k to $3k.
Capital Gains Taxes
And then there are capital gains taxes. If your house has appreciated quite a bit, you may have to pay this tax (which is based on the difference between purchase and sale prices, minus the cost of documented improvements). There are, however, some pretty generous exemptions, but just bear in mind that Uncle Sam may take a cut.
So if you’re wondering, “What should I budget for if I sell my house on my own in New Jersey?” you now know the answer is . . . quite a lot, actually. But don’t be scared. We buy houses in New Jersey, as-is, in any condition, at your own timing!